The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to monitor a Russian vessel believed to be used for intelligence gathering, service officials said Thursday.
The vessel, flying a Russian flag, will be observed as the service coordinates with the Pentagon to provide updates and “meet presence with presence to encourage international maritime norms,” the statement read.
“The U.S. Coast Guard is currently monitoring the Russian vessel operating in the vicinity of Hawaii,” Cmdr. Dave Milne, chief of External Affairs, said in a statement. “The Coast Guard operates in accordance with international laws of the sea to ensure all nations can do the same without fear or contest.”
The Russian vessel is located in the Coast Guard’s District Fourteen area of responsibility, according to the statement. District Fourteen is the largest area of responsibility in the service.
Foreign military vessels are legally allowed to transit through U.S. exclusive economic zones, areas that extend no more than 200 nautical miles from a country’s territorial sea, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A country’s territorial sea is considered the first 12 nautical miles from a nation’s land into the water.
Spotting Russian vessels on intel gathering missions is nothing new for U.S. maritime services. In 2016, the Navy confirmed that a Russian spy ship was located in international waters just before the Rim of the Pacific military drills were set to begin.
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.